21

I just ran into an answer where the user said they were 9 years old. This got me wondering about the age limit for the site.

Is there one? Do we have an official or unofficial minimum age before someone is allowed to participate on the site?


I realize that age is not a required field when signing up so there is no real way to enforce anything. I'm just curious if most people think that everyone on the site should be at least x years old, or if the thought is that as long as a person is capable of using the site they are welcome here.

22

Per my answer here, the Stack Exchange Legal Policy explicitly states...

Subscriber certifies to Stack Exchange that Subscriber is an individual (i.e., not a corporate entity) at least 13 years of age. No one under the age of 13 may provide any personal information to or on Stack Exchange (including, for example, a name, address, telephone number or email address).

  • So Subscriber is allowed to post, so long as they don't share identifying information? – asteri Dec 19 '14 at 22:39
  • @asteri - No. In order to post, you need to create an account. By definition, even if the account-holder provides fake info, they're still underage. – Valorum Dec 19 '14 at 22:48
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    @asteri - The same legal mumbo-jumbo then goes on to say "Subscriber also certifies that they are legally permitted to use the Services and access the Network, and takes full responsibility for the selection and use of the Services and access of the Network. This Agreement is void where prohibited by law, and the right to access the Network is revoked in such jurisdictions.". 'Accessing services' seems to includes reading the site's content. So under-13s shouldn't be reading the site either – Valorum Dec 19 '14 at 22:50
  • That's amazing. – asteri Dec 19 '14 at 22:52
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    But it neither explicitly states 12 and under are banned, and it continues by ONLY restricting what those under 13 may NOT PROVIDE to be personal information. Contradictory statements. – user16696 Dec 20 '14 at 23:27
  • @cde - It says that under 13's shouldn't be using the services. That includes reading the site's content. And yes, I do appreciate that there's no registration required to actually do so, but the legalese still applies regardless. – Valorum Dec 21 '14 at 0:05
  • Then why is the distinction made on providing personal information as to opposed to any or non-disclaimed information? – user16696 Dec 21 '14 at 0:22
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    @cde - Do I look like a lawyer? Go ask Jeff Atwood :-) – Valorum Dec 21 '14 at 0:23
  • So, by using the site they agree to the contract. But in many US states & other countries, a person that age can't be bound by a contract. But a 9-year-old is using the site. Which means that he/she agreed to the contract when creating their account. But a person that age can't agree to a contract. But they're using the site. AAAAAGGGGHHHH. – Omegacron Dec 22 '14 at 21:39
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    @Omegacron - I think the idea is to try to cover your a*se as much as is possible. Although it's not legally binding in most places, the fact that it's legally binding anywhere is sufficient to put it on the site. If you get sued 100 times, it's better to be covered once than not at all. – Valorum Dec 22 '14 at 21:43
  • @Richard - I agree. We'll just accept that contracts are wibbly wobbly and move on. – Omegacron Dec 22 '14 at 21:44
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    @Omegacron - And only between Ferengi. – Valorum Dec 22 '14 at 21:46
15

There is an age limit, no one under 13 is allowed on the site (you can thank coppa for that). If you see evidence someone is under 13, please flag for moderator attention with a custom reason saying so.

  • Just to be sure, does this also apply to a person under 13 from a country where COPPA does not apply (i.e. not the States)? I suspect it has to do with the servers being located in the US, right? – bitmask Dec 30 '14 at 12:03
  • SE's rule about no one under 13 certainly applies. I'm not sure whether coppa explicitly applies to them directly or if they're just incidental since it's basically impossible for SE to know whether coppa applies. – Kevin Dec 30 '14 at 15:09

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